In a month where one town in Sicily is offering houses for sale for €1 (US$1.14), another Italian town is offering people €9000 ($10,290) to move there. Before you start packing your bags in anticipation of moving to Locana in Piedmont, there are a couple of conditions to bear in mind. These include that you must have a child and a salary of at least €6000 ($6860) and you have to commit to living in the Alpine village.
The mayor of Locana, Giovanni Mattiet, has made the offer because the town's population has fallen from over 7000 residents in the early 1900s to less than 1500 today. Each year, there are around 40 deaths in Locana compared to ten births so children are needed to help repopulate the dwindling northern Italian town. They are also required, in particular, to help keep the school open as it is in danger of shutting down due to low numbers.
The housing offer was formerly open only to Italian residents, but it has since been extended to those coming from abroad. The mayor is hoping to attract mainly young people who work remotely or are willing to start an activity there. This may be an attractive option for those with an entrepreneurial streak as the town has plenty of closed shops, bars, restaurants, and boutiques that new people could re-open to revitalise the town.
Locana can afford to lure people there with a financial incentive thanks to the clean hydroelectric energy it sells to Italy’s state. Located in the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park, it is an outdoors-lover's dream and there are plenty of opportunities for skiing, climbing, biking, ice-skating, trekking, fishing and rock climbing. It is situated 45km from Turin and has plenty of potential dwellings in need of refurbishment to offer new residents.
If people choose to take the mayor up on his offer, the financial reward will be paid to them over a period of three years.